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Jacob Pins from West Des Moines, Iowa, has announced his intention to swim and study at the University of Kentucky beginning in the 2024-25 school year.
“I’m excited to announce my verbal commitment to continue my academic and athletic career at the University of Kentucky. I would like to thank my family and friends for all of their support. Also, thanks to all of my coaches, past and present including Greg Temple, Scott Cameron, Donald Spellman, Shawn DeBoef, and Ethan Johnston for all of their guidance. GO CATS! 🐱🤍💙 #BBN”
A junior at Valley High School, Pins trains year-round with the club team Des Moines Swim Federation and specializes mainly in the 1000/1650 free, although he also enjoys racing backstroke and sprint free. We recognized him as being among the “Best of the Rest” distance swimmers on our Way Too Early list of top recruits from the high school class of 2024.
In 2022, the then-sophomore won the 500 free (4:26.30) and came in fifth in the 200 free (1:41.71) at the Iowa High School Boys’ State Championships. That’s a huge improvement from his freshman season, when he had placed fourth in the 500 (4:38.64) and 11th in the 200 (1:44.48), with PBs in both events.
Two weeks after high school states, Pins competed at the 2022 Iowa LSC Short Course Championships where he clocked PBs in the 1000 free (9:08.50), 100/200 back (54.60/1:54.40), and 400 IM (4:06.14) and won the 500/1000/1650 free. That was a nice tee-up for his first long course meet at Pleasant Prairie Sectionals a few weeks later. There, he kicked off the season with PBs in the 200 free (1:57.60), 400 free (4:06.18), 800 free (8:26.00), and 1500 free (16:13.75). He lowered all four of those times at Speedo Junior Nationals at the end of the summer, finishing the meet in the top-20 of the 400/800/1500 and with LCM bests of:
200 free – 1:55.87
400 free – 4:00.48
800 free – 8:18.90
1500 free – 15:54.29
Most recently, Pins competed at Winter Juniors West in the 200/500/1650 free. He placed fourth in the mile thanks to a drop of nearly 18 seconds and clocked a PB in the 1000 free on his first 40 laps of the 1650.
Best SCY times:
1650 free – 15:05.72
1000 free – 9:08.33
500 free – 4:26.30
200 free – 1:39.93
Pins will join the UK class of 2028 with #10 Chase Swearingen. The Wildcats’ distance group is young, led by sophomore Nick Caruso, freshman Levi Sandidge, junior Zane Rosely, and fifth-year Adam Rosipal. Pins’ best mile time would have scored 14th at SEC Championships last season, just ahead of Rosely. It took 4:20.76 to get a second swim in the 500.
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